Posts Tagged ‘midwife’

Midwifery – What does a midwife do?

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

midwifeThis is National Midwifery Week, created by the American College of Nurse Midwives to celebrate and recognize midwives and midwife-led care.

A certified nurse-midwife is a registered nurse with advanced, specialized training and experience in taking care of pregnant women and delivering babies. Certified nurse-midwives are licensed to provide care before, during and after delivery.

There are several different types of midwives, each holding different certifications based on their education and/or experience. Certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) and certified midwives (CMs) attend approximately 93% of all midwife-attended births in the United States, and as of 2010 they are required to have a master’s degree in order to practice midwifery.

Midwifery care fits well with the services provided by obstetrician/gynecologists (OB/GYNs), who are experts in high risk, medical complications and surgery. By working with OB/GYNs, midwives can ensure that a specialist is available if a high-risk condition should arise during pregnancy or labor and delivery.

Once your baby is here, a midwife can assist with questions about breastfeeding (it’s not as easy as you think.) Midwives can provide you with health care in the postpartum period and between pregnancies at well woman visits. They can provide pain medications, birth control, screenings and vaccinations. They treat women from the teen years through menopause.

Here is a link to more information about midwives from the American College of Nurse Midwives.

Who will delivery your baby?

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

baby arrivesGetting early and regular prenatal care is very important for having a healthy pregnancy and baby. The first step in getting prenatal care is to choose your prenatal care provider. This is the medical professional who will care for you during your pregnancy. You have options, so think about it. Will one make you feel more comfortable or confident?

You can choose either a doctor (physician) or midwife to take care of you during your pregnancy and to deliver your baby.
• An obstetrician (OB) is a doctor who specializes in the care of women during pregnancy, childbirth and recuperation from delivery. About 8 in 10 pregnant women choose obstetricians.
• A family practice doctor is a doctor with training in all aspects of health care for every member of the family. A family practice doctor can be your health care provider before, during and after your pregnancy, and your baby’s doctor, too.
• A certified nurse-midwife is a registered nurse with advanced, specialized training and experience in taking care of pregnant women and delivering babies. Certified nurse-midwives are licensed to provide care before, during and after delivery.
• A maternal-fetal medicine specialist is an obstetrician with special training in the care of women who have high-risk pregnancies. If you have risk factors that could complicate your pregnancy, your prenatal care provider may refer you to a maternal-fetal medicine specialist.

It’s important to choose a health care provider who makes you feel comfortable and listens to you. Click on this link for a list of questions to consider when making this decision.

How to choose a prenatal care provider

Monday, July 9th, 2012

your providerWhether you choose an obstetrician, a family practice doctor, a certified nurse-midwife, or a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, the first step in getting prenatal care is to find the best provider for you.

Choose a health care provider who makes you feel comfortable and who listens to you. Questions you may want to consider include:
• Does the provider have a good reputation?
• Does the provider listen to you and take the time to explain things clearly and thoroughly?
• Are you comfortable with the gender and age of the provider?
• Does the provider make your partner feel comfortable, too?
• Is the office staff pleasant and respectful?
• Is the location of the office convenient? Do the hours fit your schedule?
• What hospital is the provider affiliated with? Does the hospital have a good reputation? Is its location convenient?
• Is the provider in a solo, group or collaborative practice?
• Will you always be seen by the same provider during your office appointments?
• Who covers for the provider when he or she is unavailable?
• Who handles phone calls during office hours? Does the provider charge for phone consultations? How are calls and emergencies handled after hours?
• Does your insurance cover this health care provider?

It’s OK to ask for an informational interview with more than one provider before making your decision. This is an important time in your life and you want to feel as comfortable and well cared for as possible.

How to find a midwife

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

A certified nurse-midwife is a registered nurse with advanced, specialized training and experience in taking care of pregnant women and delivering babies. Certified nurse-midwives are licensed to provide care before, during and after delivery.

The American College of Nurse Midwives has great information about midwifery on their web site. You will see that they are primary health care providers to women throughout the lifespan. They perform physical exams, prescribe meds, order lab tests, provide prenatal care, gynecological care, labor and birth care, as well as health education and counseling to women of all ages.

If you are interested in talking to a midwife, the Find a Midwife practice locator is a web-based service that allows you to find midwifery practices in your area. It also supplies you with basic contact information like practice name, address, phone number, e-mail address, web site and a map of the area. Check it out.

Baby wearing – holding your baby close and often

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

moby-wrapMy midwife organized a workshop at her office for moms and moms-to-be on “baby wearing”. This practice has been used around the world for centuries and the benefits for both mom and baby are numerous. There were several experienced moms who attended with their babies ranging in age from 3 months to 2 years. They proudly wore their babies in a variety of slings, wraps, and carriers. They took turns demonstrating how their baby wearing method worked and explained why they preferred it. This one is great for my back. I can breastfeed with this one. This one eases fussiness. I feel bonded to my baby in a special way. This one comes in cool prints. I can go grocery shopping or out to dinner with this one. I was sold! I was going to wear my baby.

The style that intrigued me the most was the wrap, so I ordered it online. Its 5.5 meters (approx. 18 feet) long. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s actually very simple to use.  It’s made from 100% cotton and it’s extremely soft. There are different holds based on the babies’ age and developmental stage. There’s the newborn hug, lotus and cradle just to name a few. I started using the wrap when my daughter was just four days old. Here we are eight months later and I still love wearing her. Just the motion of walking soothes her when she’s fussy. It allows me to get things done like fold laundry, talk on the phone, and check my email. When she’s in the wrap she’s happy, quiet, yet alert. An ideal state for learning according to attachment researchers.

There are so many different theories on how to raise a child. For me personally, I believe that keeping my daughter close has helped us to develop a special connection.  It’s a means for me to express how much I love her and demonstrate affection. I trust that she will benefit from this throughout her life.  The only down side is that I’m somewhat addicted. The wrap comes in so many beautiful colors and I now own three!

The day Hannah arrived, the conclusion

Friday, September 4th, 2009

75460078915_0_albAlthough it would have made a great story, I didn’t deliver in the ambulance.  Sorry to disappoint.

Now where was I?

We arrived at some random hospital. We didn’t tour this facility. My midwife did not have privileges here. This was not the plan. I was quickly pulled out of the ambulance and rushed inside. I caught eyes with an elderly woman in the corridor who stepped to the side as we wheeled past. She looked horrified. Was I that bad?

The ER staff stood in a line waiting for me. One of them called out, “how many weeks is she?” I was just shy of thirty seven. I was crying up a storm. Someone chuckled, “oh, take her to L&D then!” Hold on…I’m not having my baby today. I might be sick. A kidney stone perhaps? I have back pain. I threw up. I didn’t shave my legs today. WAIT!

Before I knew it I was off the gurney and standing in what looked like a delivery room. Two nurses were pulling my coat off while asking me for my social security number and health insurance card. I could barely answer them and they were getting frustrated. A short, portly woman with rosy cheeks stepped in. In a soft voice she said, “you have to let us help you. Please answer our questions.” She guided me to the bed and yanked off my winter boots and jeans. She asked me if I was having any bleeding. I asked, “who are you?” She replied, “your doctor.”

Crutches and all, my husband finally found me. He was swarmed with questions and paperwork from the nurses. There must have been at least four people touching me all at once. I was in a hospital gown, there were two monitors strapped over my belly, a blood pressure cuff on my arm, an IV in my hand and the doctor was checking me. “Well, you’re 10 centimeters. You can start pushing whenever you have a contraction.” I almost didn’t believe her.  I felt like the room was spinning. It was loud and bright. I’m not due for another few weeks. Our families don’t know what’s happening. There was no time to call our doula. No over-night bag. No camera. I wasn’t prepared for this.

With my husband quietly at my side, I started to push every time I had the urge. I wasn’t having contractions in the traditional sense. Just intense pressure in my bottom. “Stop pushing with your face,” a nurse instructed. In between pushes I would reach into my husband’s sweat shirt pocket for some ice chips that I was storing in a plastic cup. My mouth was so dry.

I wasn’t sure if my pushes were working. I was distracted for a split second by my bright purple knee socks. Not a good look. Stay focused. “Is anything happening?” The doctor told me to reach down and feel for myself. I touched the top of my baby’s head. I gasped. It was the most perfect moment. It suddenly became real and I snapped out of the fog I was in. I have to get the baby out now.

At 4:42pm I became a mom. The doctor placed this tiny person on my chest. I looked up at my husband who had tears in his eyes and we kissed. We have a daughter. What a surprise! The room was quiet now. I was comfortable. Someone turned the lights down. We’re a family now. Despite the pain, fear and uncertainty it was a perfect day and I wouldn’t change a thing.

It definitely doesn’t end here. My Hannah turns 7 months old tomorrow and I have a ton of stories to share. Thanks for stopping by and see you next Friday. Enjoy the long weekend!

The day Hannah arrived

Friday, August 21st, 2009

10129968915_0_albMy back was bothering me  again. I sat at the kitchen table trying to  finish  a bowl of cereal, but I was too uncomfortable. I was 36 weeks pregnant and I had a horrible cold. I called in sick to work and shuffled back to bed.  I tried to fall asleep, but the pressure in my lower back wouldn’t give. I flopped from side to side. I paced around my bedroom. I rocked on my hands and knees, but my back continued to throb. I couldn’t sit still for more than a second. I called for my husband who happened to be  home  recuperating  from a substantial orthopedic surgery that he had two weeks earlier. He massaged my back while balancing on his crutches, but it did no good.

“Don’t leave me”, I said. I was nervous and had to keep moving. He hobbled behind  me from room to room. Maybe I pinched a nerve or pulled a muscle? Let’s just call the midwife and  tell her what’s going on. She said it could just be end-of –pregnancy discomfort. Call her back if anything changes.  I wasn’t having any other symptoms. Until…very suddenly I did.

I ran to the bathroom and  threw up. The pressure in my back ramped up and radiated down into my bottom. I was moaning and walking  around on my tippy toes with my back arched. It was intense. Could this be it?  Was this labor? It came on so suddenly that we weren’t sure. I wasn’t having contractions . Everything we read said that labor progresses slowly and can take hours and hours for first time moms.  Could this be some other medical issue? My husband said, “that’s it we’re going to the hospital.” I was crying.

Somehow he managed to get me into the backset of the car although I was unable to sit. I was on my knees holding onto the head rest. We reached the stop sign at the end of our block and I jumped out of the car. I couldn’t tolerate the car. I just couldn’t do it. My husband was yelling at me, “what are you doing? Get back in the car!!” I somehow managed to crawl back in and he drove like a maniac in reverse back to our house. He whipped  into the driveway and called 911. ..To Be Continued.

Check back next Friday for Part 2 of, The day Hannah arrived. Have a great weekend and Happy Birthday Peter!

Choosing a prenatal care provider

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

OK, it’s time to choose a health care provider for your prenatal care. How do you know who will be right for you? You can choose either a doctor (physician) or midwife to take care of you during your pregnancy and to deliver your baby. Here’s a Who’s Who:

• An obstetrician (OB) is a doctor who specializes in the care of women during pregnancy, childbirth and recuperation from delivery. About 8 in 10 pregnant women choose obstetricians.
• A family practice doctor is a doctor with training in all aspects of health care for every member of the family. A family practice doctor can be your health care provider before, during and after your pregnancy, and your baby’s doctor, too.
• A certified nurse-midwife is a registered nurse with advanced, specialized training and experience in taking care of pregnant women and delivering babies. Certified nurse-midwives are licensed to provide care before, during and after delivery.
• A maternal-fetal medicine specialist is a doctor with special training in the care of women who have high-risk pregnancies. If you have risk factors that could complicate your pregnancy, your prenatal care provider may refer you to a maternal-fetal medicine specialist.
Here’s a link to things you’ll want to think about or ask while you’re making your decision.